14.10.2004 General News

Road Ministry to take on more personnel

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Accra, Oct. 14, GNA - Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, on Thursday said the World Bank was prepared to assist the Ministry to take on more personnel to help in monitoring and evaluating the work of Contractors in the Road Sector.

The Minister, who was answering a supplementary question from Mr. E.T. Mensah, NDC-Ningo Prampram, in Parliament, said the Ministry had problems of inadequate monitoring and evaluation personnel that go around to check on Contractors.

Earlier, Dr Anane told the House that the slow progress of works and failure of Contractors to complete their schedule on time may be due to a number of reasons including those of inadequate equipment, poor personnel complement and unfavourable whether.

The Minister was answering a question from Mr Poku Adu-Gyamfi, NPP-Bosomtwi, who wanted to find out about what the Ministry was doing to relieve contractors, who reneged on contracts terms due to the Ministry's inability to pay them on time for work done.

"In cases where the contractors suffer delays on their projects as a result of the employer's failure to fulfil his contractual obligations and adverse weather conditions, the contractors are adequately compensated through the award of time extensions with costs," Dr Anane said.

He said the Government was not happy about the delay in the payment of contractors.

The Minister said within the past three years, the Government had managed to reduce the huge arrears as well as other "indebtedness to road contractors, in order to reduce the huge interest on delayed payments as well as the negative impact on the progress of work". Government had made adequate arrangements for payment of contractors and it was envisaged that by the close of next week only certificates presented as at the end of September might be outstanding, he explained.

In a related development, the Minister said an inventory of bridge assets had been carried out to identify sites for new bridges, existing bridges requiring replacements and those in need of major rehabilitation.

He said 1,200 sites had been identified for new bridges, 54 existing ones were to be replaced and 90 were to undergo major rehabilitation. The Minster touched on other road works in the Central and Brong Ahafo Regions, which were to be tarred or asphalted.

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